Simon Gikandi and Chika Okeke-Agulu recognized by British Academy for their contribution to the humanities

Written by
Jamie Saxon, Office of Communications
Aug. 3, 2022

Simon Gikandi, the Robert Schirmer Professor of English and chair of the Department of English, and Chika Okeke-Agulu, professor of art and archaeology and African American studies and director of the Program in African Studies, have been elected corresponding fellows of the British Academy, in recognition of their contribution to the humanities.

Gikandi is recognized for his work in the literatures and cultures of Africa and its Black Diasporas in the Americas and Europe; cultures, histories and institutions of slavery; literary history and comparative literature; and global modernism.

Okeke-Agulu is recognized for his work in modern and contemporary African and African diaspora art; classical and traditional African Art; postcolonial theory and art criticism; and art and politics.

Gikandi and Okeke-Agulu are among 85 new fellows from around the world, who join a community of over 1,600 scholars who make up the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences. The British Academy, founded in 1902, is a scholarly fellowship, a funding body for research in the UK and internationally, and a forum for debate and engagement. Sir David Cannadine, the Dodge Professor of History at Princeton, is a past president. "I am delighted to welcome these distinguished and pioneering scholars to our Fellowship,” said Julia Black, president of the British Academy and strategic director of innovation and professor of law at the London School of Economics and Political Science. “With our new Fellows’ expertise and insights, the Academy is better placed than ever to open new seams of knowledge and understanding and to enhance the well-being and prosperity of societies around the world. I congratulate each of our new Fellows on their achievement and look forward to working with them.”